|RANT 'N' RAVE
After reading all the rants about Japan
over the last few months, it makes me wonder why people actually stay here.
It probably has something to do with the fact that they, like myself, love many things
about Japan. But because most of the positive things pass us by barely noticed, it's good
to be reminded of the positive things now and again.
Japan has a frustrating habit of being both very convenient and being infuriatingly
inconvenient at the same time. A typical example would be to catch a highly efficient
train on any number of public holidays, go into a bank only to find you cant take any
money out, resulting in a gut wrenching feeling of psychopathic anger and total
disbelief-in short, ruining your day. After all this is one of the biggest cities
in the world and it is the 21st century. I mean, what's all that about?
Unfortunately for most of us, it's only the negative experiences that stick out. The
positive experiences happen quite often, but are quickly or instantaneously forgotten.
They are more often than not simply taken for granted.
An example of this would have to be the sheer simplicity in paying bills. You can pay for
them almost anywhere. Also, the train service is the best. Where else could you
time a journey to the exact second? This is another service Japan provides which is taken
in our stride. It's so efficiently run it's never noticed. That must be the biggest
compliment to its efficiency - the fact that you don't even think twice about it.
Finally, although I could go on, there's the godsend that is the beer-vending machine.
It's only really brought up in a conversation where someone's bitching about how they
switch off at 11pm. What an absolutely wonderful idea - a machine that dispenses beer.
Other pluses include: convenience stores, karaoke bars (another brilliant idea), and the
safety aspect - where else in the world could you happily fall asleep in the park and wake
up uninjured and still with wallet?
There are a lot of positive things here; we just need to remind ourselves about them from
time to time.
Many thanks to reader Leigh Norrie for this Rant.
Got something positive to
say? We know that there are aspects of Tokyo that you love, and we'd like to hear about
them from you. Send your 500-word rave (or rant, if you must) by fax to 03-3423-6931, or
email to firstname.lastname@example.org